|Bradford Pear 1/23/14|
|2/5/14 Bradford, goodbye|
Bradford Pears were widely planted when our neighborhood was developed in the 1980's. Developers and landscapers thought they would be a perfect tree in the suburban yard. And they do have some very good features which made saying goodbye difficult.
The Bradford Pears are one of the first trees to bloom in the spring, with their fluffy white flowers, and the brilliant red, orange, and yellow of the fall foliage is beautiful. The shiny dark green leaves in summer are also very attractive. In addition, they are fast growers, growing in full sun, are drought tolerant, and do well in most soils. They are very happy in zones 4 through 9.
|Flowering Bradford Pear/Pyrus Calleryana 3/12/12|
Unfortunately the Bradford Pear has a few faults that we could no longer tolerate. The small cherry like inedible fruits and hard shells seemed to constantly litter the driveway. I feared someday slipping on the debris while walking to the mailbox.
Then there was the mistletoe. The Bradford Pears in our neighborhood became host plants, with help from the birds, for mistletoe. Mr S was diligent about keeping it pruned out of our trees, but it was an ongoing battle. Many homeowners who were not so diligent have had their trees killed by a mistletoe infestation. Below is a photo of an infested tree in a nearby neighborhood. The green is mistletoe.
Apparently the trees are prone to breakage in heavy winds, although we never had that problem. Nor did we find them to be invasive in our yard, although I understand they are highly invasive in some areas. No, it was just the mistletoe and the mess that convinced us that it was time to say goodbye. The Bradford Pear is a short lived tree, usually only about 25 years, so they had already exceeded their life span.
They seem to be blooming earlier than usual this year, probably due to the mild winter. Everywhere I look I see clouds of white. But I suppose now I will have to enjoy those fluffy white flowers in other peoples' yards!
We said goodbye to the dry spell (at least for now) with over ½ inch of rain on the 30th, which ended a record 54 days without rain, and then almost an inch of rain fell on the 6th, and there was snow fall in the mountains, too! Although it will not catch us up to normal, every bit helps.